Windows 2008 R2 Hard Drive Configuration

tibrahim
tibrahim used Ask the Experts™
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I just recently purchased a new server and setup the drives for a Raid 5. The total drive space is 3.5 TB. When I get to the part of the Windows 2008 R2 installation where Ineed to partition the drive it only allows me to choose 2TB of the drive for the primary partition. The other part of the drive is unalocated space. What am I doing wrong? Also, if I proceed with the installation I cannot format the remaining 1.5 TB of space to a usable partition.

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IT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
This is the actual limit of MBR - 2048GB. Space that exceeds this limit will be unusable.
Reconfiure RAID the way you get one drive smaller than 2TB and the left for data drive. So you will have two physical drives. Normally I do recommend to have 250-300 standalone drive for Windows and then you can use your 3.5TB drive for data needs. After Windows installation you will be able to convert the 3.5TB to GPT and create one or several partitions that use total space.

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Commented:
So I have 6 total drives that are 750G each. I need a minimum of three drives for a raid 5. Do you think I should use a raid 5 for the MBR which would give me about 1.5 TB?
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
The raid array that contains the Boot Partition should not exceed 2TB.
You have a few options
1. Splice the array (not supported by Dell) by creating the initial Raid 5 Virtual Disk size below 2TB and then create a second Virtual Disk Raid 5 using the remainder of the available space
2. Change your configuraton to Raid 1 for your OS with 2 Drives and Raid 5 with the raining drives
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Author

Commented:
A Raid 1 for the OS , will that give me better performance with 2008?
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Or you can create a mirrior over the system drive then a RAID 5 on the remanining 4 drives.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Actually better performance is given by RAID0 and higher reliability by RAID1. If you pursuit high performance then RAID0 is your choice for OS partition.
And thee others for RAID5.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Personally I would purchase additional HDD of 300GB for OS and leave 3.5TB configured for data.

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